Arts / Museums

Art Party Mania — Major Exhibition Openings Bring the Power Players Out in Dallas

John Currin's Life As a Man Leaves Quite an Impression

BY // 09.24.19

The moment word got out late last year that Dallas would be getting a John Currin exhibition tongues started wagging. When? Will it be at the Dallas Museum of Art? No, we soon learned, the Dallas Contemporary had scored this art world coup.

The show, curated by Alison Gingeras, is the first comprehensive look at paintings Currin did of his own gender. Titled “My Life As A Man,” the exhibition, which includes many of the large painted canvases the artist is most widely known, showcases 50 works on paper and sketchbook drawings of male figures that have never been publicly exhibited before.

At the official kickoff reception to its fall season, the Contemporary also opened simultaneously two other exhibitions: Alicja Kwade’s “Moving in Glances” and Jessica Vaughn’s “In Polite English One Disagrees by First Agreeing.” Kwade’s work, in an attempt to explore the conventions developed by humanity in order to explain natural phenomena, utilizes everyday materials such as glass, steel and concrete. Vaughn also creates with what one might deem as low brow materials — and not marble or bronze, we’re talking about discarded or surplus materials and architectural fragments. This is the first solo museum exhibition by the Brooklyn-based artist.

Post-Contemporary party, a few select guests had been invited for an exclusive private dinner. Two long tables outside of the fabulous Italian restaurant Sassetta had been set for the evening. I was ecstatic when I saw that I had been seated across from Rachel Feinstein, Currin’s wife of more than 20 years. As much as I tried to avoid it, I think I ended up fan-boying out in her presence. But, she didn’t seem to run in terror and she even posed for a few selfies with me (check them out on my Instagram @reallywrongfong).

We bonded over Miami. I have been a fan of her work for many, many years but didn’t know her whole background. She was the daughter of a dermatologist who moved their family from New York City to South Florida. She went to high school at Ransom Everglades, where quite a few of my friends attended as well. (Ransom Everglades was also the location for the fictitious school, Blue Bay High, from the movie Wild Things.)

We were both in New York City around the same time, she had graduated from Columbia and was beginning her work as an artist and I was attending City College studying for my masters in art history. We reminisced about the art world back then (the mid-1990s), which somehow seemed much smaller (perhaps due to it being a pre-Internet world). The watering holes we all seemed to frequent — Amy Sacco’s Spy, Wax and Pravda. As well as the Beige parties at the Bowery Bar on Tuesdays. The fashion was equal parts severe (for example, Jil Sander suits with a Prada backpack, both most definitely in black) and bohemian grunge (Anna Sui’s store seemed to be ground zero for this aesthetic).

SHOP DE BEERS

Swipe
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON
  • De Beers MAY 2021 - X2 RES HOUSTON

Many of the guests at dinner were international since a group of them had been in town installing the Elmgreen & Dragset: Sculptures exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center. They were all atwitter about the honky-tonks and dive bars they had discovered in Dallas. They were even more excited however at the fact that they were heading to Marfa the next day.

Dallas’ own art world showed up in droves that night to celebrate the openings of the three exhibitions. Spotted amongst the group was Max and Ben Trowbridge, Jo Marie Lilly, Melanie Spiegel, Amy Adams, Megan and Brady Wood, Ashley Tatum, Laurie Ann Farrell, Pedro Alonzo, Flavio Del Monte, Michael Elmgreen and Ignar Dragset, Richard Phillips, Derek Wilson, and Greg Frary.

DeBeers
Shop Now

Featured Properties

Swipe
X
X